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Full text of "Hardcore Gamer Magazine Volume 4 Issue 1"

new panes • old games • console games • pc games • arcade games • portable games • game stuff 




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GRAN TURISMO 

THE REAL DRIVING SIMULATOR 



5 Prologue 



Don't worry. You'll get a good look at 
the taillights soon enough. 

With up to 16 players racing online, the 
competition is fierce. Lucky for you, the 
new interior dash view lets you experience 
the race like never before. Strap yourself 
in and get ready for the drive of your life. 





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Available Now 



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Language 
Sexual Themes 
Violence 






ESRB CONTENT RATING www.esrb.org 



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Publisher 
Tim Lindquist 
Editor in Chief 
Greg Off 

greg@hardcoregamer.com 

Art Director 
Terry Wolf inger 
Senior Editor 
Thomas Wilde 
Managing Editor 
Alicia Ashby 
editors 

Anthony Mertz 
Dave Hulegaard 
Geson Hatchett 
Jason Venter 
Jeremy Peeples 
Steven Kent 
Elizabeth Ellis 
Abbie Heppe 
Crumpet Dancer 
Geson Hatchett 



jl 



Danny Cowan 
David Brothers 
laian Ross 
James Cunningl 
Katiti Renoux 
Thomas Shin 
Jeb Naught 
Steve Hannley 



D*ff*ubba "Ibii Lmck|ust 

Too many GDC parties have wore out this old fork. I'm not 
getting younger any faster... wait... I mean... I'm getting 
older than I used to... oh, never mind. Other interesting 
things? After eons of procrastination, I finally succumbed 
to peer pressure and have joined an online social network 
(Facebook). Now all I do is look for new friends to invite, 
post on their walls and play Dots, Wasabi & Arcade Trivia 
with them instead of working. 

Now Playing: Lots of X68000 games, Vs. Super Mario 
Bros. (Arcade) and Donkey Kong (Tandy CoCo 3) 



Wanderer Thomas Wide 

Hey, you know who sucks? Prince Malchezaar. I hate that 
guy. He'd better drop Gorehowl soon or I'm going to be 
i irate. 



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Now Playing: Lost Planet, Portal, The Dracula X 
Chronicles, World of Warcraft 



~ 



Amadeo Garcia III 

Production Director 

Brady Hartel 

Production Artists 

John McKechnie David 

Casey Yates Julie Miyamoto 



Ad sales 
Burr Hilsabeck 
415-412-5685 

burr@hardcoregamer.com 

Games Daishi 
Martin Gilbert 
Customer Service 
425-868-2216 

Hardcore Gamer® Magazine is published quarterly by DoubleJump® 
Publishing, Inc. at 21407 NE Union Hill Rd, Redmond, WA 98053. 

Periodicals postage paid at Redmond WA and at additional mailing offices. 
USPS NO. 024063. ISSN 19362110 POSTMASTER: send address changes to 
Hardcore Gamer Magazine, PO Box 146, Redmond, WA 98073. "Hardcore 
Gamer" and "DoubleJump" are trademarks or registered trademarks of 
DoubleJump Publishing Incorporated. All rights reserved. No part of this 
magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, 
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any 
information storage or retrieval system without written permission from 
DoubleJump Publishing. DoubleJump Books is a division of DoubleJump 
Publishing, Inc. 

DoubleJump Publishing and the authors have made every effort to ensure 
that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. However, the 
publisher makes no warranty, either expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, 
effectiveness, or completeness of the material in this magazine; nor does the 
publisher assume liability for damages, either incidental or consequential, 
that may result from using the information in this magazine. Questions 
regarding operation of the game software and hardware should be directed 
to the support numbers provided by the game and device manufacturers in 
their documentation. 
Printed in the United States of America 



Racewng Geson Hatchett 

I gots a NeoGeo Pocket Color. I love this thing. Yet my 
innate loathing of all things card-based could not be 
broached, even by Card Fighters' Clash. Oh, well, can't 
win 'em all. 



Now Playing: Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mega Man IX 
Advent, SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium 
(because Karin told me to) 



Ifitoshus la i an Ro^s 

I haven't bought a PC game in years. I bought the gold 
edition of Civ 4 recently and I was quite shocked that 
after cutting down on packaging size, the packing 
quality has also been cut down. The instruction manuals 
hadn't been printed. Instead they're on a CD at the 
very bottom of a stack of five discs. Oh, and none of 
those discs came with a sleeve at the very least. I think 
"CD care and printed manuals should take priority over 
unwieldy posters. 

Now Playing: Civlization IV + Warlords 



Sarcitis Damy Cowan 



So there's an Xbox 360 in the house now, and I've 
slowly been catching up on what the rest of the 
world has been playing over the last two years. Quick 
reviews: Rock Band is genius, Portal would be the 
best game of 2007 if I'd played it before the Internet 
memed it to hell and back, and Crackdown was a 
waste of $15. Oh, and Yaris is amazing. 

Now Playing: Curve, AJICO, The Delgados, David 
Bowie, Slowdive 



Roger Danish Greg Off 

As a long-time PlayStation fan, it's heart warming to see 
the beleaguered company receive some good news and 
positive press for a change. With the Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD 
war over, and a promising line up of first and third party 
Ititles for '08, is it possible that this once mighty giant 
f could actually scratch and claw its way back up to the top? 

Now Playing: God of War: Chains of Chaos, No More 
Heroes, Patapon, LEGO Indiana Jones 



OtMetter David Brothers 

2008 is all about Good Decisions for me. No more nonsense, 
no more stress, no more drama. Can I make this happen? 
Here's hoping. 



Now Playing: Call of Duty 4 (360), Orange Box (360) 






■ i 



James James Cumgham 

It's coming. So close I can almost see it, my new wonderful 
toy is getting one step closer to being in my living room, 
one day at a time. Yep, it's time to join the HD age, and 
this spring's tax returns (plus generous $600 government 
bonus) are going to enable a new piece of shiny happy 
tech. That's the best kind! 

Now playing: Burnout Paradise (360), Endless Ocean, 
waiting impatiently for Patapon 



HonestGamer Jason venter 

Gaming is too expensive. That comment may come 
mostly from my fruitless attempts to find a job for three 
months running, but I hardly think that even the gainfully 
employed would be inclined to disagree. Games are too 
expensive and I refuse to buy more... unless they're good 
ones, of course. 

Now playing: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, 
Nanostray 2 



Dack Steve Hannley 

You know what I want to do? Work security at the mall. 
I'll get to shine a flashlight! 



Now Playing: Resident Evil: UC, Rock Band, Lost 
Odyssey and the amazing Vampire Weekend in my 
CD player. 






Well, WoW. has finally lost the "wow" factor for me; I 
have not played it in months... I have been on my PC 
playing online with Call of Duty 4 and Team Fortress. 
Phenomenal game, that Call of Dutyl My only complaint 
was that it was too short. Otherwise, it's brilliant!! 



Now Playing: Call of Duty4, Team Fortress, Grand 
Theft Auto: SA 



Lynxara AEcia Ashby 

So a friend bought me Castlevania II for Christmas, and 
I find myself playing that more frequently than any 
modern games I've acquired since then. Make of that 
what you will. 



Now Playing: No More Heroes, Culdcept SAGA, Devil 
May Cry 3, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, 
Ninja Five-O, Castlevania II 



ArEeth Thomas Shn 

At press time, I've gotten to see action shots of Street 
Fighter IV and King of Fighters XII, and if neither of those 
two manage to get on ESPN/MLG, I'm going to F,D,DF+P 
Itagaki through the Tecmo water cooler. Seriously. 



Now Playing: Hellgate: London(PC), Twinkle Star 
Spn£es(Neo Geo), King of Fighters '98 Ultimate 



Ashua Brady Hartel 

I just moved, and I've been working hard the past month 
on a backend for posting our magazine content online. My 
brain esplodey. Thankfully, now there's No More Heroes so 
I can make other people's brains esplodey... with lots of 
blood! 



Now Playing: No More Heroes, Devil May Cry 4, and 
Super Mario Galaxy 



Jeremy Jeremy Peeples 

As "Dr. Death" Steve Williams has said, THE WORLD'S 
TURNING!! The HD age is upon us, and in '08, I hope to join 
it... and get a PS3. Also, I'd like my second 360 to make it 
the whole year. 



I Now Playing: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, Rez HD, Carve, 
Beautiful Katamari 



>-. .^1 



Kitty Kam Renoux 

This month, I've seen blizzards, disastrous 
windstorms, some flooding, and monumental power 
outages. I've gotten the feeling I'm unprepared 
for natural disasters. Should I zombie-proof the 
apartment some more? That might take care of it. 



Now Playing: Resident Evil: UC, Mana Khemia, 
Persona 3 



Mads Amadeo Garcia III 

The only reason I haven't even touched Portal yet is 
* because I'm so scared of the hype ruining it. Otherwise, 
^ever since I discovered that I didn't need to buy a new 
PC because my laptop could run Team Fortress 2 just 
fine, I've been pretty much immersed in Valve's glorious 
multiplayer setting. AND STOP CALLING MEDICS IF YOU 
DON'T NEED THEM, GOSHDARNIT 

Now Playing: Team Fortress 2, Advance Wars: Days of 
Ruin, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions 



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Previews; 



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We've got a trio of tasty games for you this 
quarter: Mario Kart Wii, NISA's latest in Mana 
Khemia, and Majesco's surprising Eco Creatures. 
Just turn to page 10 to see the goodness. 
We would've packed more preview pages into 
this issue, but... 



^Mana.Khemia:.p1i1 



J EcoXreatures:,p12, 





L ; Featuresr WC 

... we wanted to publish a 
six-page blowout about small publishers and the 
systems they're publishing for, now that next-gen 
is... well, now. After you're all set for your niche 
games, then flip on and see our massive feature on 
tournaments and the cash prizes the hardcore won 
in them in 2007. Get started on page 38. 

iNicheiGaminq:ip38^ ^T(0>urnaments:ip44j 




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10 : FREUIEW: MARIO KFlRT UJIl| 

11 : PREUIEW: MRNfl KHEMIfl 
1£ : PREUIEW: ECO CREATURES 

14 : COUER FEATURE: SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL 

3S : FEATURE: NICHE GAMING AND THE 

PLAYERS OF THE LOST ART 

44 : FEATURE: TOURNAMENT 

CASH PRISES OF £00? 

SO : REUIEW: DRAGON GUEST SWORDS 

£2 : REUIEW: TEENAGE ZOMBIES 

S3 : REUIEW: NINJA GAIDEN: DRAGON SWORD 

E4 : GRAVEYARD: BEETLE ADVENTURE RACING 

r E6 : WARES: NEC GEO BATTLE COLISEUM 

S? : WAREZ: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS 

ES : THE DARK SIDE OF RETROGAMING: 

A WEEK OF GARFIELD: GARFIELD 

^'DOWNLOADS 

6£ : JAPAN: ASH (ARCHAIC SEALED HEAD 

64 : ONLINE GAMER: BURNOUT PARADISE 

66 : ARCADE: EA NASCAR RACING 



& 



38 




On.thex o yeiv 



Yeah, we also got a copy of 
Super Smash Bros. Brawi, 
and it was basically 
impossible not to write 
eighteen tremendous pages of 
coverage that ferrets out every little thing 
we could squeeze from the game. Want to know 
what glitches are gone, what characters are 
in, which items are the most fun? The battle 
begins on page 14. 



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Using scraps lert over rrom your 

hreakrast, you've managed to cohhle 

together a rather oddly shaped sandwich. 

How many times must you cut the 

sandwich in order to make it rit 

neatly in the container? 






NINTENDO 





Mild Violence 





Text keyword "Laytoti" to 49737 for the answer and a free wallpaper, 
or visit ProfessorLaytonDS.com to explore this unique Nintendo DS 
adventure filled with riddles, puzzles and hidden treasure. 




( ^Professor Layton) 

03$i^1AGE. 



Solve your way in. 



Standard text message rates apply. 

© 2007 LEVEL-5 Inc. TM, ®, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection logo and the Nintendo DS logo are trademarks of Nintendo. © 2008 Nintendo. 



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Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Nintendo 
Release Date: TBA 






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If you haven't already dusted off your Wii for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, 
you'll want to shake the cobwebs off for Mario Kart Wii (this name is not 
final). Slated for release in Japan on April 10th, Marwiio Kart should see a 
North American release not too long afterward. 

Packaged along with the intial release is the new Wii Wheel (this name isn't 
final either), something similar to the Wii Zapper. Jam your wiimote into 
the slot, and it promises to deliver a much more intuitive driving experience 
than just turning it sideways. The game should work fine without it, though; 
you can cruise in style and demand your friends bring their own wheels. 

The standard cast makes a return, of course, including an option to use one 
of your Miis as a driver. The different weight classes of karts are still around, 
from the huge behemoths that pimps like Waluigi and Bowser roll in, to the 
diminutive karts for the tiny characters. Motorcycles are also going to make 
an appearance, with their own sizes and styles as well. I guess my Koopa 
Troopa biker club will finally have characters with which to relate! 

Marwiio Kart also includes some "tricks" that you can pull off 
in your sweet rides. When you hit a jump, you shake the 
wiimote like you mean it to pull off some mad air moves. 
Word on the street is that it also gives you a speed 
boost, meaning you can bring it in style. If your smooth 
chopper and Wario jacket aren't impressive enough, 
imagine how amazed your friends will be when you 
soar over their heads! 

Overall, Marwiio Kart looks to build on the popular 
framework of its predecessors, with some fly new 
looks and features. You will be able to take your 
game onto Nintendo WiFi and pretend you're racing 
for pinks with the world. Get out your oil cans and 
spare tires, and look for Marwiio Kart sometime in Q2. 






1 PREVIEW MARIO KART WII 







Mana Khemia is the fifth installment in developer Gust's alchemy games. 
For those familiar with the previous games (Atelier Iris and Ar Tomeiico 
among them) it should feel like heading home; Mana Khemia builds on the 
same card-combat, weapon-making systems, with a few twists to keep 
everything interesting. All this is wrapped up in a beautifully drawn and 
animated world. 

The game revolves around a boy named Vayne and his cat, Sulpher. Vayne 
enrolls into an academy for alchemy majors, where he meets up with a colorful 
cast of characters. Players guide Vayne as he progresses through three years at the 
academy, where he must pass twelve exams in order to pass. The better he does 
on the exams, the more free time players have to spend doing whatever they 
want. Vayne can attend lectures on alchemy to gain new recipes, or participate 
in team events where he helps out his friends. A bulletin board acts as kind of 
a quest system, and a calendar keeps track of time; the calendar counts down to 
important events, so players know how much time they have left before finals. First, 
the Alchemy system makes a triumphant return. Players can construct all kinds of 
awesome weaponry, using stuff that is just lying around, locked in chests, or stuffed in 
monster pockets. In addition to useful items, however, Mana Khemia does away with 
the traditional "leveling up" common to most RPGs. Instead, players are allowed to 
craft their own stats and skills, using a similar system to normal alchemy. With the 
ability to make anything, the possibility for customization is huge. 

Most of the combat systems have new touches added as well. The Burst system 
from the later alchemy games is back, and it includes a "Finish Burst" attack. 
By using the Burst attack successfully, the characters can execute a powerful 
finishing attack that deals even more damage. In addition, a "support" 
system has backup characters taking hits for added defense, or joining in 
on attacks to make them even more effective. Using all the tactics 
at your disposal lets you lay the smack down on the 
game's monsters in style! 

Mana Khemia is shaping up to be an enjoyable, action- 
packed look at the life of an alchemy student. Study 
hard, or it could hurt! 



HARDCORE GAMER 



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Forgoing the commonplace military setting for an RTS, Eco Creatures takes place 
in an enchanted forest known as the Mana Woods. Also, instead of acting as a 
general and controlling tanks, you're a gigantic orange creature named Dorian, in 

charge of commanding a small pack of woodland creatures to defend your home land from 

environmental peril. 

Ordering the creatures around is quite easy, as you simply select your creature, then point 

him towards either your home that needs to be protected, or the enemies trying to destroy 

it. The simple controls ensure that the game can be enjoyed 

by pretty much anyone, and I like that the developers included 

both a right and left-handed control scheme - allowing you 

to move around with the face buttons if you're a leftie, while 

right-handed users can use the D-pad. 

Players with a desire to take a more active role in the game 
can do so simply by touching his icon on the screen and 
then attacking foes with his powerful magic spells. Should 
you fail to defeat your foes, your homeland will be 
destroyed, but even if you succeed, it could still sustain 
some major damage. Fortunately, it can be remedied 
by simply planting new trees in place of the ones that 
were destroyed during battle. Thanks to its ease of use, 
environmental message, and bright color scheme, Eco 
Creatures stands out as an ideal RTS for newcomers to the 
genre, and a relaxing one that veterans can enjoy as well. 



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Publisher: Majesco 
Developer: Lightweight, Co. 
Release Date: March 2008 



Genre(s): RTS... 

Category: ...With Woodland Creatures! 

# of Players: 1-4 



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ECO CREATURES: SAVE THE FOREST 



HARDCORE! 



E 4 ISSUE 1 



5 CLUSTERSNOGGIN' 



A ihoiiutid mau ofmmptiu ted. fliA time to diKonr them. 

From the famed creator of Final Fantasy, rfironobu Sakaguchi, comes a revolutionary RPG experience 
rich in depth, emotion, and cinematic gameplay. In an age that has harnessed the dark power of magic, 
you are the mysterious, immortal Kaim — on a quest to reclaim 1,000 years of lost memories. Unlock a 



fyast infused with 



hetravaL and war to reveal the Dath to reclaim vour life and rescue the world. 



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Suggestive Themes 
Use of Alcohol 
Violence 


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© 2007 MISTWALKER, INC. / IT. 
PLANNING, INC. ALL rights reserved. 
© 2007 Microsoft Corporation. 
ALL rights reserved. 

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STRATEGIES BY RACE WING 






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This is a game that is not afra.d to break what unpre dictability 

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on relatively even 8"^^^ n a n the other guy, or you 
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see which way the stage , going, or you m g^ ^ ^ 

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Alchohol Reference 
Mild Language 
Mild Violence 



ESRB CONTENT RATING www.esrb.org 



BE MERCIFUL, BUT ALWAY, 
. NURTURE YOUR VILLAGE 



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3300 University Boulevard • Winter Park, FL 32792 



Financial aid available to those who qualify • Career development assistance • Accredited School, ACCSCT 



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But of course! Despite all of the madness that is Smash Bros. -the items flying around, the 
unpredictability, the instant-KO techniques, the Final Smashes-Smash Bros, is still very 
much a fighting game. It may lend itself to wild parties more than any other fighting game 
to date, but it is still a fighting game with techniques, combos, quirks, tactics, and the 
occasional glitch. Mashing buttons is fun, but knowing just what all of those mashed 
buttons are doing for you is exactly one percent more fun. So sit back and enjoy this 
rundown of the game put together by us! 

(Special Note: This guide is for more generalized play, rather than following any sort of 
"tournament rules". We're talking about matches that are timed, stock, or coin; items 
present or non, and any stage. Smash Bros, has tons of rules of thumb which are great to know, and 
especially in a madcap game such as this, knowing your fundamentals holds the greatest key to victory. 



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SMASHBALLS fib FINAL 



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Super Moves have finally invaded Smash Bros., to the tune of Final Smashes! During matches, 
a Smash Ball will appear on screen, and whoever first manages to hit it so that it breaks will 
begin to glow (henceforth referred to as "Final Smash Mode"). Pressing B with the analog 
stick/ D-Pad in a neutral position will then allow the character to perform their signature 
Final Smash. Final Smashes are ultra-powerful, and are good ways to score knockouts in a 
hurry. Therefore, some doom-sayers may think that these are overpowered free kills, but 
there's strategy placed all over this concept. 

First off, there are two ways to break the Smash Ball-you can rush to it and try to hit it, 
using either your character's comboability or superior strength (both are taken into account). 
However, you can also use your character's ability or an item to shoot it open. This tactic 
leaves you less vulnerable, but you have to be accurate. 



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SMASHBALLS B= FIMAL BMAS 



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to use that Final Smash forever. 

The best thing to do, overall, is to know how each and every Final Smash works. 

A lot of them require correct positioning before activation in order to be effec- 

the technique wears off. 





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THE PRESIDENTIAL PARTY GAME 4 







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This concept has always been in Smash Bros, to some extent, but never before has it been so 
pronounced and prevalent. The Law of Diminishing Returns reads thusly: 

"If thou hath not have the skills nor the chops to use more than one move, then thy game shall 
deign to make that move less and less useful with each repeated use until thou wisest up." 

Gone are spamming Smash attacks with the C-Stick, or using the same special move over and 
over again (with a couple of exceptions; Sonic, for example, thrives on using repeated move 
executions). Try to abuse any move, and over time, it will decrease in both innate strength and launching power. So when that "bread-and-but- 
ter" move you've got suddenly starts failing you, now you know why. 




Probably the least welcome new "feature" in Brawl at the moment. No one's sure what triggers this, no one's sure how to turn it off, but roughly 1% of the 
time, characters will comically trip and fall when they attempt to move in some fashion. This, of course, leaves them vulnerable for a second, and throws off 
just about anyone's groove. Fortunately, in the floaty chaos of your standard Smash match, opponents won't be able to take advantage of this very often, but 
watch out for this nonetheless. 




Walls are everywhere in Brawl, so it's 
great that now characters can jump 
onto them, stick for a second or two, 
and then leap back off. It's great 
for maneuverability, and faking out 
opponents. 



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[ Game Deuelopment ] 



UNIVE 



SAL TECHNIQUES 



that much closer to destroying your opponents. 





Veterans of fighting games or even Viewtiful Joe have heard this term before. Been knocked off your keister? For 
a quick recovery, press the shield button as you come in contact with any surface, be it a wall, ceiling, or solid 
ground. You'll hop back up and be back in the game without having to wait for your character to revive normally. 



■P 




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Quickly tapping the jump button instead of holding onto it will result in a shorter jump with less height behind 
it, but less recovery as well. A good way to gauge the type of jump you'll do is to look at your character just 
before they take off-every one of them will squat for a bit. 




When you're dashing towards a character, press the 
d.rect.on opposite that dash's direction while performin: 
a grab. The mam benefit of this is that you'll be able to 
grab from further away than usual. 



REPEATED 



REFLECTORS 




Lots of characters have moves that will repel 
projectiles back to their users. Team Starfox's 
aptly-named Reflectors are the best-known, but 
moves like Mario's Cape work just as well. When 
two characters with this capability face off, 
Reflector fights can happen in a hurry. If an item 
is reflected back and forth, it'll keep increasing 
in power and velocity until it becomes too powerful for 
one person to handle-in which case, look out. 




BROOKLYN REPr 



series: Super Mario Bros. 



strats: Being the all-around character 
with average movement and stats, Mario's 
always been a great character to learn 
the Smash Bros, ropes with. His new Down 
Special move, which involves FLUDD, is a 
charge move that gives him some much 
needed pushback power, and his Up Special is 
good for knockouts. Shoryuken, baby. As long 
as you get into proper positioning, his Final 
Smash, the Mario Finale, is very effective. 
There's a very high chance that whoever gets 
caught in its stream will be knocked out. 
This is balanced by it being easy to avoid, so 
again, positioning is key. 



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series: Donkey Kong 

strats: Pound for pound, few combatants 
have the punching power of Donkey Kong. 
Even keeping the Law of Diminishing Returns 
in mind, feel free to abuse his Smash attacks, 
as they're super-strong. Save his Special 
attacks, especially his Down Special, for 
those special moments when crowds of 
people won't see them coming. His power 
also means he can pound Smash Balls in a 
matter of second. A shame then, that his Final 
Smash, which involves the Bongos, leaves him 
immobile and has a pitiful range besides. It's 
best used on smaller stages. 



series: The Legend of Zelda 

strats: Link's once again been hit with 
the nerf bat. His two special moves, his Up 
Special and his Up Smash are nowhere near 
as cheap as they were in Melee. His Up and 
Down aerial attacks still back a heck of a 
punch. His Side special, the Boomerang, is 
now accompanied by a tornado-style attack 
that makes it much more valuable. For his 
Final Smash, Link shoots out a super-fast 
arrow that hits anyone in its line of flight, at 
any distance, before Link starts wailing on 
whoever it hits. In the end, Link's another 
great all-around fighter, with crazy amounts 
of melee range. 



/ELL, EXCUUUUUSE ME 



GOOD OLE Gl 



series: Metroid 



strats: Good old Samus is still the 
range queen, rivaled now only by Snake. 
Her projectiles have been toned down the 
slightest bit, but they're still just as versatile 
as in previous installments. Store up Charge 
Shots for prime moments, and abuse those 
missiles and bombs. Screw Jump into crowds, 
but don't go crazy doing so. Her Final Smash 
works a lot like Mario's, except you can aim 
the giant beam as it fires. Samus is mind- 
games and keep-away, through and through. 



: Pokemon 

s: Pikachu is an electrical 
powerhouse, best used against groups 
rather than in one-on-one fights. He's great 
for clearing out a crowd and stealing kills, 
and he's super-fast as well. You can juggle 
enemies with his Down Special if you're 
timing's good. His Final Smash, the Volt 
Tackle, is once again great for clearing out 
crowds, but can be a bit erratic in flight. 
Usage of the Attack button while flying 
around will help you make the most of 
it. hits. Feel free to snipe someone who 
doesn't see it coming. 




URVIVED SECOND-DRAFT CUT 



series: Fire Emblem 

strats: Marth plays a good deal like Link-a 
mid-range character with decent reach and speed. 
He has to get in close to do any real damage, 
though, which puts him at a disadvantage against 
ranged folks. His Up Special is particularly sick, 
and his Down Special is an anticipation counter 
which is good for faking out enemies on the 
attack. Other than that, though, standard 
swordplay tactics apply. Stay in close, and mind 
the speed (or lack thereof) of your attack arsenal. 
Marth's Final Smash, Critical Hit, has him dash 
forward a short distance for the attack. In other 
words, its range is limited, so position is essential. 






series: The Old "Game & Watch" Games 

strats: If you run up against someone 
who deliberately and consistently picks Mr. 
Game and Watch, you should probably fear 
(and watch) them, because odds are, they 
really know what they're doing. About the 
best thing you can saw about G&W is that 
he's deceptively agile. His attacks are fast 
(especially his Neural Special), and his Down 
Smash is powerful. He also exercises many 
maneuvering options after using his Up 
Special for aerial recovery. His Final Smash 
turns him into a slow-moving, but invincible, 
octopus with a decent, but not overbearing, 
amount of power. 




series: Kid Icarus 

strats: Pit's Smash debut is a powerful 
one indeed. This is another great all around 
character, with good strikes (his Side 
Special and Neutral Attack are good, and 
make decent "walls" against the enemy), a 
reflecting shield, and the ability to fly, of all 
things. His Final Smash goes through walls 
and floors to hit the enemy, making it good 
for any situation. 



bRE 



E3USNK 



'4 



series: Metroid 

strats: This lighter, flightier Samus's Up 
and Down specials give her two options for 
aerial recovery: a triple jump, or the ability 
to hang onto ledges. She's got a little range 
with her Neutral Special's laser, but most of 
your time will be spent zipping around the 
stage. Her Final Smash simply reassembles 
the Power Suit, but this can damage people 
in range. To start a match with Zero Suit 
Samus, simply hold down the shield button 
as you choose Samus on the select screen. 
You can also activate this mode in battle by 
rapidly activating Up and Down Taunts, but 
it's more trouble th; 



series: Kirby's Dream Land 

strats: Half the fun of Kirby is stealing 
peoples' items and using them against 
others, but you'd be surprised just how 
powerful Kirby is all on his own. His moves 
feel as natural and well-rounded as, say, 
Mario's, and he's got power and speed to 
back it up. For the record, his flight-power 
lets him jump a whopping six times. Oh, and 
eating people and spitting them off the side 
doesn't work anymore. Kirby's Final Smash 
sucks in everything from a certain distance, 
so if you want to avoid it, get really far 
away, really fast. hits. Feel free to snipe 
someone who doesn't see it coming. 



STAYPINK MARSHI 



tJL& 



.JTJBLMcCL 



series: Starfox 

strats: The Standard Attack button is 
a Fox player's best friend. These attacks 
come out like lightning, and along with his 
dashes, laser blaster (Neutral Special) and 
deceptively strong Smash attacks, give him 
a great ground game. Ironically, he's only 
average in the air. His Final Smash, the 
Landmaster, renders him invincible, and can 
be used to knock out enemies with kamikaze 
and laser attacks. It's pretty slow and clunky, 
though, so pick your shots. 






series: Super Mario Bros. 

strats: Luigi plays a lot like Mario- and 
yet he doesn't. His moves are similar in 
purpose, but while clunkier, they're a whole 
lot more useful than Mario's, especially his 
Down Special, which is an awesome spin 
attack instead of that FLUDDD nonsense. 
Mario's Smash attacks seem to be more 
effective, though. Luigi's Final Smash, the 
Negative Zone, causes random effects to any 
enemy inside it. Position yourself so that you 
can trap opponents, then let it loose. 



JOHN 





BARaNAMAN 



1EEN THUNDERI 



series: Donkey Kong Country 

strats: Diddy's another quickster 
character, able to generate his own banana 
peels to slip up the enemy. It s should be 
noted that his Up Special doesn't have 
much forward movement to it, so stay away 
from cliff edges as much as possible, or 
you may not be able to recover at all. His 
Neutral Special, the peanut gun, isn't great 
on its own, but for some reason, is good 
for sniping Smash Balls. Said Final Smash, 
where he fires peanuts all over the place, is 
decent against crowds, but not all that hot 
in a one-on-one situation. 



series: The Legend of Zelda 

strats: Based on watching Japanese 
players, it would appear that Zelda's best 
offense is a tight defense. The less she has 
to move around, the better. Simply zone and 
repel with her various special moves (which 
is actually pretty easy given her Neutral 
and Side Specials), and when all else fails, 
teleport or switch to Sheik. Her Final Smash 
is a giant arrow that pretty much means 
instant knockout for anyone who gets hit by 
it. Just be sure to position yourself. 



IAGICAL PRINCESS 



OST UNDERATED N-TEAM 



34 COVER FEATURE SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL 



CUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCU 



series: Kirby's Dream Land 

strats: Meta Knight has tons and tons of 
combos and strikes. He and the Attack button 
work great together. However, when it comes 
to actually knocking opponents out, he's a 
bit lacking, even with his Smash attacks. To 
make matters worse, his Final Smash, while 
powerful, has a very limited range. Basically, 
to win with Meta, you're going to have to do 
lots of health-whittling, and steal lots of kills. 
His Up and Neutral Special moves are good 
tools to have as well. 



HARDCORE GAMER MAGAZINE VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 FERVOROUS CLUSTERSNOGG N' 



BADASS FOX, AND BLUER, TOO. 



series: Starfox 

strats: Falco's a little bit different from 
Fox this time around. His Reflector shoots 
out a distance, doing damage to whatever 
he hits; he has more hangtime and less 
speed (because he's a bird, see), and his 
Landmaster has far more flight capability. 
He still, ironically, has a great ground attack 
game, though. Outside of his distinguishing 
differences, play him like you would Fox. 



strats: Oddly enough, the Pokemon 
Change (Down Special) is one of the Trainer's 
best moves. It occurs the instant you input 
the move, and will remove the Pokemon 
from whatever harm was about to befall 
them. It's a great evasion move. As for the 
Pokemon, Squirtle's fast and has an amazing 
offense (his Up Special is one of the best 
uppercut-style moves in the game), Ivysaur 
has better normal attacks and Smashes than 
he does specials, and Charizard's got pure 
power behind him. The Trainer's Final Smash 
is another beam-type. 



DEAD RECKONING MEDIEVAL. TAN 



series: Fire Emblem 

strats: We're not kidding: Ike really 
is one of the game's heavy tanks. Every 
move in his arsenal is designed to dish out 
maximum pain. This includes his Final Smash, 
Grand Aether, which renders him invincible, 
and can hit up to three other opponents if 
positioned just right. He sacrifices speed 
for all of this power, though, so keep that 



HARDCORE GAMER MAGAZINE VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 RXVOROUS CLUSIERSNOGGIN 






- 



rJAilA 



NUCLEAR EQUIPPED WALKING DEATI 



series: Metal Gear 

strats: Oh, man. If you thought Samus 
did keep-away well, wait until you see this 
guy. Snake has mind-games galore, from his 
multiple plantable explosives (Down Smash 
and Down Special, hand grenades, a rocket- 
launcher Forward Smash that packs a huge 
punch, and missiles that he can manipulate 
in-flight. His Final Smash even takes him off of 
the playing field as he rains rockets on those 
present with wanton abandon. He has some 
decent physical attacks, but your main tactics 
with Snake will involve seeing just how many 
ways you can make your enemies go boom. 



ii 



series: Super Mario Bros. 

strats: Peach is still one of the more 
combo-heavy Smash Bros, characters. Many 
moves have the ability to juggle into another, 
making her good for one-on-one fights, but 
average in free-for-alls. Experiment with 
these moves to find follow-ups that work for 
you. Still, in those free-for-alls, her Final 
Smash is great, rendering most opponents 
on the stage sleeping babies, just waiting to 
be KOed. 



iUPER PRINCE 



series: Yoshi's Island 

strats: One disadvantage to using Yoshi 
is that he doesn't have an Up Special that 
helps him recover in the air like all the other 
characters. In compensation, he has a higher 
double jump than most, is very floaty, and can 
attacks multiple times in midair with decent 
range. Learning to master the power of Yoshi's 
Side and Down specials, and the speed of his 
Side Special, is as must. His Smash Attacks are 
quick, but only average in terms of knockout 
potential. His Final Smash is actually very 
good in one-on-one matches, allowing him 
to juggle opponents with fireballs as he flies 
around the arena. 



series: Starfox 

strats: Wolf will certainly be taking a 
lot of flack for having a similar moveset 
to both Falco and Fox, but wouldn't you 
know it, he's the only one of the Starfox 
representatives to have both a decent air 
and ground game in his attack moveset. 
He also has a wider Reflector, and a faster 
Up Special. He has a pitifully slow laser to 
compensate, and a Landmaster just like the 
other two, but otherwise, Wolf's actually a 
good character to pick up. 



'twos TiePCacement- 



series: Pokemon 

strats: By all accounts, Lucario seems to 
be Mewtwo with different move directions, 
and to be frank, his Smash Attacks are far 
more useful than any one of his Special 
moves, save for his Neutral, which has him 
launch a decent fireball attack. He also has 
a decent Final Smash-a beam-type, but one 
which allows him to rain death from above. 



series: Earthbound / Mother 

strats: Ness is Ness. Everything you know 
about Ness from the previous games is here 
Brawl, outside of his mega-cheapness in the 
original SSB. For those new to him, he's a 
psychic fighter. His Side Special, PK Fire, 
hits multiple times and can be spammed. PK 
Thunder, his Up Special hits both enemies 
and himself, which is the only way to use the 
move for aerial recovery. Finally, he comes 
factory-equipped with the Home Run Bat, 
one of the best Smash Attacks in the game. 
His Final Smash, PK Starstorm, is good for 
clearing out groups. 



iDNiwir 



\£? K 



^tflStaiL 



series: The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker 

strats: It sounds like a cop-out to say that 
Toon Link is like normal Link, only smaller, 
but, well, if it walks like a duck, talks like a 
duck, and quacks like a duck... Toon Link plays 
mostly like Young Link from Melee, in fact. 
He does get a little bit more in the speed 
category than Twilight Princess Link, so use it 
to your advantage. He has less range on his 
Final Smash, however. 






series: Gyromite 

strats: R.O.B. is another unorthodox 
character who will take a while to master. 
To get you started, two of his better moves 
are his Side Special, which sends him 
whirling towards his opponent, and his Down 
Smash, which lets him stay in the air while 
repeatedly striking foes. His Final Smash 
lasts an abnormally long time, and while it's 
not much of a knockout move, it's very good 
at draining opponents' energy, so stay near 
other people while it's going. 



.\jz 



HNDD 



eries: Legend of Zelda 

strats: Just as in Melee, he's a reverse 
Captain Falcon. Thus, you may wish to refer 
to his section. The 'Dorf is heavy and slow, 
but surprisingly maneuverable, and any hit he 
lands will pack a wallop. His Final Smash even 
works like the Blue Falcon, but has a little bit 
more ranse to it. 



series: Ice Climber 

strats: Good news for fans of the 
Climbers: They work even more in sync 
than they did in Melee. Nana will follow 
Popo's moves with a slight but significant 
lag, allowing players to set up crossover 
traps. Not only have all of their moves been 
upgraded in power and versatility, but their 
Final Smash takes up almost an entire typical 
stage, and will drain energy from opponents 
while the Climbers are free to move around 
for the kill. 



neraiMBi 



BIG HAM 



series: Kirby's Dream Land 

strats: DeDeDe's arguably the slowest 
guy in the game, and of course, he's got the 
power to back it up. He's so slow, however, 
that most people won't like him, because the 
only good time to attack with DeDeDe is when 
you're 110% sure you'll hit. On top of that, his 
Up Special won't let him maneuver in midair 
for recoveries. His Final Smash only hits on 
the ground. Still, those who persevere will 
find the King a powerhouse and a tank, with 
one really dirty trick. His Neutral Special lets 
him suck the enemy in a la Kirby, but unlike 
the puffball, he spits out straight ahead. 



series: Sonic the Hedgehog 

strats: Analog stick control is a must with 
the little blue guy, because spending more 
than two seconds going in any one direction 
means you'll run yourself off the stage. 
Attacks of note include his Up and Down 
Smashes, the only attacks that keep him in 
one place and still do decent damage, and 
the Homing Attack (Neutral Special). Sonic's 
Final Smash, Super Sonic, is one of the 
best. It's like Pikachu's Volt Tackle, only you 
have total flight control. Part of why analog 
control is a must, though, is that you're also 
twice as fast. 



T THING ALIVE 



LEMMINGFU MASTER 



series: Pikmin 



OUM 





series: Wa ho ware 

strats: If Mario is the Ryu of Brawl (and 
Luigi the Ken), then Wario, by all rights, is 
the Sagat. No one saw it coming, either. His 
movelist are strange renditions of Mario and 
Luigis, from his multi-hit uppercut, to his 
versatile bike that can be both ridden and 
thrown at the enemy, to his spinning Up and 
Down Smashes, to his Final Smash, Wario- 
Man, which increases his speed and strength. 
Expect Wario to become one of Brawl's most 
popular characters. He's just that good. 



BE THIS COOL 






SHOW HIM YOUR MOVES 



series: F-Zero 



36 COVER FEATURE SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL 




strats: Since Olimar uses his Pikmin for his 
attacks by way of tossing them, that means 
that all of his Smash attacks save for his aerial 
Down Smash) automatically have added range 
to them. It also makes his throws tough to see 
coming. Thus, Olimar is right up there with 
Snake when it comes to playing mindgames with 
the enemy. As for his Final Smash, End of Day? It 
may actually be overpowered. When the rocket 
takes off, it's impossible to avoid damage, but 
the fall back to earth can be dodged if you're 
fast. You'd do well to do so, too, as that falling 
rocket can KO you in a hurry. 



HARDCORE GAMER MAGAZINE VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 FERVOROUS CLUSTERSNOGG N' 



strats: Falcon's just as fast and powerful 
than ever, and with the new Reverse Falcon 
Punch (acheieved by holding the controls in the 
opposite direction of his windup), he's got more 
versatility and fake-out potential. Otherwise, 
the Falcon Kick is great for dealing death from 
above, and he's one of the few characters who 
excels on both the air and the ground due to his 
above-average speed and balanced strength. His 
Final Smash, the Blue Falcon, can be a bit tricky 
to land with (you have to be right next to your 
victims, even if they're in the air), but if you 
can manage it, it's guaranteed tons of damage, 
and looks awesome to boot. 



HARDCORE GAMER MAGAZINE VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 FERVOROUS CLUSTERSNOGGIN 



series: Pokemon 

strats: Jigglypuff may look like a pushover, 
but she's got some moves. She has Kirby's 
flight factor. She's got a decent Down Attack 
in the air that does multiple hits, and Rest is 
still the best knockout move she's got- 
provided you can actually land the blasted 
thing. Your opponent has to be overlapping 
you in order for it to hit. Her Up Special, Sing, 
causes your opponents to sleep longer if they 
have higher damage, which can set up some 
nasty traps. Finally, Jigglypuff's Final Smash 
has her grow to the size of most entire stages, 
making her almost unavoidable. 



mi 



HE DIGGER... WITH DRILLS"? 



series: Earthbound / Mother 

strats: Lucas plays more or less like a 
Beginner's Ness. His PK Thunder travels 
more slowly, making it easier to aim, but 
ironically tougher to use as a aerial recovery. 
His PK Fire doesn't yield as many hits, and 
he also has a longer throw reach than his 
counterpart. Otherwise, he really is Ness 
1.5. Just like Ness, Luca's PK Starstorm Final 
Smash is good against groups, but iffy in 
single-player combat. 



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upcoming niche releases for the 
Xbox 360 is Operation Darkness, 
a traditional SRPG developed 
by Success and set to be 
published by Atlus. If 
this game was released 
even two years ago, 
it would no doubt be 

on the PS2, one of the 
many SRPGs that tried to 
follow in Disgaea's wake and 
capitalize on a new American 
taste for the genre. Its subject 
matter is typically (if delightfully) 
Japanese, a tale of an alternate 
World War II as fought by B-movie denizens 

the 360 user base whK fthaynje J*^^ pose , 
Japanese content. Getting P e °^ e a terrific 

Jry big challenge f^J^Sto mention a 
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s: P s^^ 

says Aram Jabbari. 

them had a localization on par with what A ^ 

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on the 360 than any other co so. * Oper at, ^^ 
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be targeting a slightly different demographic, what with its multimedia capabilities and 
tremendous processing power. The PS2 remains a great value, with a huge roster of titles 
to choose from and a number of developers still interested in working on the console," 
saysAtlus's Bill Alexander. 

Jack Niida also confirms that NISA is going to continue to support the PS2 through at 
least 2008. "We believe that PS2 still has a strong market. Our numbers show that 
PS2 titles are doing well and should continue to do so for quite a while. Therefore, 
as long as there are quality titles riat our fans can enjoy we will continue to 
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Tournament 
ASH PRI 



With 
all the 

attention and coverage that tournaments 
like the Championship Gaming Series have 
received, I became curious as to just how 
much money there really was in competitive 
gaming. But given the difficulty of tracking 
down the details of sponsorship contracts 
for professional teams like Complexity and 
Pandemic, this article focuses mainly on the 
easiest value to quantify: cash. 

Hopefully, aspiring professional gamers will 
realize that the money from tournament prizes 
are just one thing out of many that determine 
whether or not it's worth devoting their days 
and nights to this line of work - and it is 
work - to maintain the caliber of skill and the 
dedication necessary to remain competitive 
against the rest of the world. However, 
tournament prizes are an easily measurable 
watermark for the amount of funding, attention 
and significance that professional gaming 
receives today. The more money that is at 
stake in a competitive scene, the more that 
is invested into it, through ways like training, 
equipment, coaching, and even management. 
Serious players are encouraged to read about 
techniques, leadership and developing a winning 
attitude. Industry veterans like Dave Sirlin have 
even written books on the concept of winning 
itself, based upon the foundation of Chinese 
martial doctrine known as the Art of War, 
and there are companies devoted to nothing 
but high-caliber equipment such as Razer and 
Fatality/Creative that are comparative to Nike, 
Adidas and Reebok. 

Criteria for Inclusion 

We divided up" the games into four main 
categories: FightingAfqmbat, First-Person 
Shooter, Sports/Music. and Reaj-Time Strategy. 

Some excellent games turned out/to lack 
cash prizes, Guild Wars being. onto/ .the best 
examples. Had Guild Wars been included in 
the list, then paired, with World-of Warcraft 
and Defense of the 'Ancients, it would have 
warranted its own category for, RPG. Combat. 
However, tournaments for Guild War's awa'rded 
gift certificates, thereby excluding it from this. , 
list. As a side note, if Hellgate: London has 
a competitive tournament in this vein in the 
future, it would fit right in with DotA and WoW. 

There are two very important rules to be aware 
of. Only tournaments that had pre-determined 
prizes were eligible for this list. It would be 
impossible to track down every tournament 
that was simply a distribution of prize money to 
first, second and third rankings, and such figures 
are also more difficult to verify. This rule also 
excludes the 2008 Pontiac G5 (MSRP: $18,000) in 



last year's Guitar Hero III 
tournament. 

Second, only 

tournaments in 

English-speaking 

regions were counted, 

as the barrier of entry towards 

tournaments in Asia and South 

America can be quite difficult. 

As many readers are aware, South Korea's 

budget for Starcraft: Brood War tournaments 

probably exceeds the GDP of several American j 

states combined. However, we simply don't 

have the capability to track them. There were a 

few tournaments taking place in Europe; prize 

amounts were converted from British pounds or 

euros to US Dollars. 





PIGHTIN 

CombAt r 



Average (Excluding Outliers): $20,025.00 



As expected, fighting games got the short end of 
the stick. With the exception of Dead or Alive 4, 
every 'normal' fighting game was mostly funded 
by the annual Evolution tournament hosted by 
Shoryuken.com. On the other hand, DotA and 
WoW have extremely strong competitive bases. 
The online gaming factor plays a huge role in 



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accessibility to competitive play, but for many 
fighting games, the technology or programming 
available simply isn't fast enough to compensate 
for lag. As much as we love Xbox Live, it's 
impossible to play decent games of Street 
Fighter on it, unless they implement a peer-to- 
peer client such as the GGPO standard (GGPO. 
net) developed by the Cannon brothers. Here's 






Average (Excluding Outliers): $121,914.25 

First-person shooter games remain the bread and butter of the North American competitive gamii 
scene. Coincidentally or not, these games often have the highest investment requirements. With 
gargantuan video cards costing more than an Xbox 360, 1800+DPI precision mice (your typical 
mouse has 600-800) and surround-sound headphones serving as a surrogate radar system, it's 
little wonder that hardware companies also put the lion's share of promotional fundin 
here. This is because in the PC professional FPS scene, the onus of hardware 
requirement is on the player, not the console developer. For that 
matter, you could expect Crysis, with its insane spec requirements, dfl 
to receive a boost from the industry. 




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However, this theory doesn't explain the predominance of 
console FPS games, despite their limitations due to lack of 
professional hardware (mouse/ keyboard players will beat 
a console player every time). The only explanation is the 
combination of market share (copies sold) and accessibility: 
both top console titles, Halo 3 and Gears of War, are on Xbox Live. There 
may be a market for professional FPS console controllers in the future, 
if current league regulations remove the ban on modified or 'non- 
standard' controllers. 

What's up with F.E.A.R. featuring so much cash? This game's 
tournament funding seems to be solely determined by the CPL 
(Cyberathlete Professional League). Does Sierra own the 
CPL now? X 







$100,000 $200.™ J3DO.0QO $400,000 $500,000 $500,000 &70O,D0O $800,000 5900,000 



^paEHH^GGg 



Average (Excluding Outliers): $22,750.00 

For some odd reason, FIFA Soccer tops this list. We don't even play 
soccer... err, 'football' in America. Much. Anyway, real football (AKA 
'Dat Madden') is near the bottom of the list. Our research shows that 
the vast majority of Madden tournaments are conducted at gatherings 
of people's houses, and organized through, of all things... MySpace. And 
while Guitar Hero doesn't seem to fare much better at all, the local 
tournament scene for it is extremely well-organized through the official 
website. Besides, one kid won a Pontiac G5. 







k 




$35,933 



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Average (Excluding Outliers): $86,306.53 

Unfortunately, there are no Asian tournaments on this 
list. The European scene is still extremely competitive in 
this genre, and the battles between the Korean elite and 
Europe's team of the Four Kings are top-caliber. We may see 
Supreme Commander show up this year on the competitive 
scene, but from what we've heard, the bandwidth load for a 
multiplayer game is so intense that most PC cafes refuse to 
offer it for online play. Again, the big surprise here is Sierra's 
World in Conflict, almost exclusively supported by the 
Cyberathlete Professional League through Sierra Games. 



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Command and Conquer 1- Tibwlum War 






Warcraft III: The Froj en Throne 



V/prM r.lnnv.:! 



It looks like things 
are going to become 
bigger and badder this 
year around. With a 
$1,000,000 tournament 
for Halo 3 in the summer, 
Major League Gaming's 
newly signed deal with 
ESPN, and Street Fighter 
IV looking to revitalize 
the fighting game scene, 
we're looking forward to 
tournament-caliber play 
of all kinds on prime-time 
television. I personally 
watched last year's Super 
Battle Opera tournament 
through a live internet 
broadcast from Tokyo, 
outputted to my television. 
I would gladly have watched 
this via Pay-Per-View, and 
perhaps via ESPN, such 
features may become 
available. 

To prepare yourself for 
this coming renaissance in 
professional gaming, you may 
want to learn how to hold 
your own local tournaments 
to hone your skills. If you're 
not quite experienced in this 
field, check back with us at 
Hardcore Gamer while we 
show you how to start your 
own championship scene! 



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Missing Genres 

Sadly, the scene for competitive puzzle gaming 
is non-existent in the United States. Also missing 
from this list are flight simulators, which have 
pretty much died out as a genre since Freespace 
2. The puzzle genre is among the highest in 
appealing to both male and female gamers, but 
a major movement for tournament play hasn't 
existed since the Tetris revolution in the late 
'80s. 

Verdict 

All together, these tournaments add up to over 
two million dollars. This sounds like a lot, until 
you realize that this accounts for the total 
accumulated prize pool, not the award for 
winning first place. And typically, the larger 
the pot, the more people the money goes to, 
spreading out from the top three to the top 
eight instead. Finally, if you're playing a team 
game like Counter-Strike, be prepared to split 
the earnings five ways; six, if you're counting 
Uncle Sam (don't forget, your winnings are 
taxed). Truthfully, the prize pools for the Sierra 
games hosted by CPL really made me reconsider 
my choice of gaming. 

What does this mean for the professional 
gamer? The same thing that it means to any 
professional athlete: more victories means 
more exposure, and more exposure means 
possible endorsements. Professional clans like 
Complexity make their bread and butter through 
their sponsorships, and winning tournaments 
is just icing on the cake. There's also Fatality 
(Johnathan Wendel), the first western gamer to 
achieve "pro-athlete" status with his successes, 
both in tournaments and in business. These are 
exceptions to the rule, and video games still 
have a long, long way to go before reaching 
the same level of legitimacy that a professional 
sport enjoys. Still, there is hope. 

Professional gaming is only but one of 
many paths that provide a path to personal 
development. Taken past its often violence- 
laden exterior of machine guns, sword slashes 
and explosions, one can find a medium th- 4 - 
is unrivaled in its integrity and fairness 
properly maintained setting, there are few 
allowances for judgment calls; a knockout is a 
knockout, a headshot is a headshot, a win is a 
win. Furthermore, physical handicaps are by 
no means an absolute barrier to professional- 
caliber play. You can be missing a hand, a 
foot, or even be partially paralyzed, and still 
somehow find a way to remain in the game. 
Tournament gaming is much more accessible 
than the height requirements to be in the NBA, 
or the physical speed and muscle for the NFL, 
because it is skill that ultimately determines 
victory. It is this competitive ideal that will 
continue to attract more people towards the 
field of professional gaming in the future... and 
with it, perhaps, a paycheck. 




* 



•**. 



Major Tournaments 

If you're interested in seriously pursuing 
your game of choice, here's a list of some of 
the world's biggest events and their hosted 



Championship Gaming Series: 

www.thecgs.com 

Project Gotham Racing, Counter-Strike: Source, 
Dead or Alive 4, FIFA '08, World of Warcraft 

World Cyber Games: 

www . wor ldcyber games . coi 

Age of Empires III, Command and Conquer III, 
Dead or Alive 4, Counter-Strike 1.6, FIFA Soccer, 
Gears of War, Need for Speed: Carbon, Starcraft, 
Project Gotham Racing 3, Warcraft III, Carc m7n 
Tony Hawk's Project 8 

Evolution Championship Series: 

www.evo2k.com 

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Tekken 5: Dark 
Resurrection, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Marvel 
vs. Capcom 2, Guilty Gear XX: Act Cadenza, Virtua 
Fighter 5, Capcom vs. SNK 2, Super Strei 
//: Turbo 



Blizzard World Invitational: 

www.blizzard.com 






Warcraft III, Starcraft, World of Warcraft 

Intel Extreme Masters: 

www. esl-world . net /masters 

Counter-Strike 1.6, Warcraft III, World of Warcraft 
Cyberathlete Professional League: 



F.E.A.R., World in Conflict 

Major League Gaming: 

www . mlgpro . com 

Halo 3, Rainbow Six, Gears of War 

Electronic Sports World Cup: 

www . eswor ldcup . com 

Counter-Strike 1.6, WarCraft III, Quake 4, Pro 
Evolution Soccer 6, Trackmania Natior 

ASUS Winter Cup: 

http : //cyberfiqht . orq/site/asuscup/ 




ASUS Winter Cup: 

http : //cyberfight . org/site/asuscuf 

Counter-Strike 1.6, Warcraft III, Defense of 
Ancients, FIFA '08, Starcraft, Quak 

Multiplay 132: 

i32 .multiplay.co.uk 

Counter-Strike: Source, Qr 

Duty 4, Crysis, FIFA '08, Te 

Quake Wars, World in Conju^i, uuuic;iciu < 

Supreme Commander, Code of Conduct 

QuakeCon: 

www . quakecon . org 

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Quake I -IV 

WC3L (Electronic Sports Le 

http: //www. esl.< 

Warcraft III 



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almost completely intuitive. 
Swinging a sword at an enemy 
is easy, obviously, but making 
the adjustment involved in real- 
life swinging and where the swing 
happens on the game can be tricky. 
Sometimes, you'll iust miss because 

you don't quite make the connect™ 

in time. At other times, you can 

iust swing like an idiot and succeed 

Blocking is done similarly, though 

based on position rather than motion. 

Sometimes enemies will line up in neat 

little patterns, so that you can take them 

out with one stroke. It might be diagonal 

horizontal, or vertical, but it gives the 
player a chance to take out a group of 
enemies with one quick stroke, rather 
than having to slash multiple times. During 

times when you've got a few enemies in the 

foreground and archers in the background 

this can mean the difference between 

life and death. The trick is recognizing the 

pattern as it forms, as it doesn't last very long 

nke Fisher Price's % ™J™-™£Z ? nt0 act ion RPGs. It's a 

the end of the game sneaks up on you. 

simple of a game, unless you're new to the RPG 

To an experienced f^^S^iS S £« 

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Yes it's basic and super simple as far as RPGs go, but it's still a satisfying 

and fun game. Fans of the 

DQ franchise and younger Wii 

owners will find Dragon Quest: 

Swords perfectly suited for 

the console. 



2-75 of 5 




Publisher : Ignition Entertainment 
Developer : InLight Entertainment 
Release Date: 4/15/2008 
Rating : Everyone 10+ 



Genre(s) : Platformer 
Category : Camp 
# of players : 1 



If you're anything like me, you look back on Zombies Ate My 
Neighbors with fond memories, and perhaps even wish for 
a sequel or big budget next-gen remake every once and a 
while. Well, I've got some good news and some bad news... 
Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys! is pretty 
much the spiritual successor to ZAMN in tone and humor. 
The problem is that it's been crossed with Lost Vikings... 
no, actually, that isn't a problem at all, is it? 

Like ZAMN, Teenage Zombies uses a f 50s monster/ sci-fi movie 

aesthetic to set the stage, complete with the goofy sound 

effects and overwrought monologues that made 

that decade infamous. TZ goes completely over 

the top with it, of course. Calling the villains, 

the eponymous invading alien brain thingys, 

caricatures is being a bit too nice about things. 

They are movie monster aliens taken to 

their (ill-)logical extreme. The story is 

told through comic book panels and 

a surprising amount of voice acting. 

It's a funny little game, and nothing 

shows that more than its plot. When 

alien brain monsters invade... the 

only ones who can stop them are a 

trio of recently zombified teenagers. 

It's a movie monster collision and 

absolutely ridiculous on the surface, 

but strangely interesting. 

The teenaged zombies, Fins, Lefty, 
and Half-pipe, each have their own 
unique abilities, and working as 
a team is really the only way to 



4.25 






make it through the game (mostly) intact. Lefty, the fallen star of 
the girls' basketball team, can leap across gaps, extend her arms 
for that extra bit of reach, or pick up a nail gun and go to town. 
Half-pipe can skate under low, low ledges, launch himself off 
pipes, or hit things with his skateboard. Fins can climb nearly any 
wall, traverse wires, and attack in three directions at once. 

Basically, Teenage Zombies is a platform slash puzzler. There 
may be areas that only Half-pipe can get through, which 
lead to a power-up for Fins, which will open an area that 
features a platform that only Lefty can 

access. They are simple puzzles, and 
nothing overly complicated, but still 
plenty of fun to figure out. 

Teenage Zombies is pretty much 
the perfect portable platformer. 
The stages are short and sweet, 
with just the right mix of 
platforming action and puzzles. There 
are a wealth of minigame challenges 
to be found, and therefore plenty of 
re payability. The sense of humor helps 
a lot with making the game experience 
compelling, too. It's just on the delightful 
side of corny, and manages to walk that line 
for the entire game. Good show. 



Rating : 4.5 of 5 



Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, while keeping the "DS" subtitle 
of the first wave of DS games, is something brand new and 
simultaneously refreshing and frustrating. In a way, it's a lot 
like the original Xbox game that it was spawned from. 

Dragon Sword takes place some months after Ninja Gaiden and 
features a new visual style and a few new cast members and a 
few old favorites. Momiji is the ninja girl and damsel in distress 
for the game, Muramasa will still sell you goods, and Ryu is, once 
again, the baddest ninja that ever did it. 

The story takes a backseat, of sorts, to the gameplay, however. 
Not only is Dragon Sword the first true sequel to Ninja Gaiden, 
it's the first one to hit a non-next gen system. The DS doesn't 
have the processing power or control 
capabilities of the PS3 or Xbox, so the 
big question is "How does it play?" 

Surprisingly well, actually. 
The DS is held like a book 
and the stylus generally 
controls everything. There 
are exceptions made for 
blocking, but Dragon 
Sword will have your 
stylus down to the touch 
screen for essentially the 
entire game. Shurikens 
are thrown by way of 
tapping your target with 
a quick touch. They're 
a must against archers, 



2nd opinion by Roger Danish • Alternate Rating : 4 of 5 



Teenage Zombies is a cute, fun little game that is well suited for a portable platform 




52 REVIEW TEENAGE ZOMBIES 




which are sometimes 

otherwise inaccessible. 

Slashes with the stylus 

result in regular attacks, 

which can be stacked and 

repeated for a higher combo count. 

There are a few special attacks, as well. 
The classic Izuna Drop is done with a simple 
tap-drag-drag motion. It's just easy enough to do reliably, 
but not so easy that you can dominate the game with repeated 
uses. Ninpo makes a return, and has gone through a few changes. 
The fire ninpo, for example, is activated by pressing a button 
on-screen, tracing a symbol, and then directing the fireball in 
the direction you want it to go. It's extremely fluid and well- 
integrated to the game, and a welcome break from the 
hectic action. 

The action is appropriately tough and hectic, though sometimes a 
little hard to see. There is a lot to keep track of, and sometimes 
the combination of hit sparks, enemies running on screen, and 
your hand getting in the way of the action can be a bit much. 
Often you'll just be blindly slashing at whatever moves on screen 
and throwing style or restraint to the wind. 

Dragon Sword is a good game. It's an interesting evolution of 
the brawler, a neat implementation of DS controls, and a worthy 
successor to its notorious forefather. The change in style and 
control did it a favor: it's just different enough from Ninja 
Gaiden to be able to be judged on its own merits, but similar 
enough to be part of an already classic lineage. 

Rating : 4.5 of 5 









2nd opinion by Roger Danish • Alternate Rating : 4 of 5 




VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 



NINJA GAIDEN: DRAGON SWORD REVIEW 53 








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IT'S BEEN THREE DAYS SINCE 
MY LAST CONFESSION... 




Battle, but getting fifty points in Championship gives out 
a valuable continue. While this isn't all that necessary 
in the Novice or Advanced circuits, continues get 
a lot more useful once you hit Professional. 

At the start of BAR, the Novice circuit is 
open and there are two courses available 
for a single-race challenge. The Novice 
circuit is three courses long, and even 
if you somehow manage to not come in 
first, completing it will add the third 
course to the single race menu. Beating 
Novice in the top spot, however, opens 
up Advanced, which is the three Novice 
tracks plus a new one, and then on to 
the Professional and Bonus circuits to 
open up the last courses. Seeing as the 



length of a single 
three-lap race can 
range from six to ten 
minutes, it's a task 
that requires some 
marathon gaming. 

This would get 
repetitious fairly 
quickly in a game 
with less creativity, 
but BAR's courses 
have so much variety 
they refuse to wear 

out their welcome. Take the volcanic Inferno Isle, for example. 
Starting at the beach, the path quickly enters the jungle where 
you can either drive through a t-rex infested park or take a 
detour through the swamp, complete with a jump that smashes 
through a hut in the middle of the water. This is followed by 
the s-curves and jumps of the Mediterranean-style town on 
the hill, with a very tricky shortcut bypassing most of the 
curves but ending in a dangerous T-junction. There's 
nothing quite like seeing the result of all that clever 
driving being an exploded Beetle. 



Once you're out of town, there's a choice of two 
detours. One is a series of jumps off a pier, onto an 
island, and then connecting back with the main 
course, while the other branches off just 
before the first shortcut joins up again, 
taking a path through a series of high- 
flying cliff jumps into the heart of 
the volcano. While the cliff jumps 
are fun, the main road has a nice 
hop past a set of lava flows 
before entering a statue's 
mouth into the fiery 
volcanic inferno. 








HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL SPILL AT 
THE SIMPLE GREEN FACTORY 



Once past that 

there's a few 

thin catwalks 

over instant death and a 

drive past an estate, the broken bridge 

with hidden cave below, and through 

the fort to get back to the course's start. 

Probably at the back of the pack due to 

the overwhelming temptation to smash every 

bonus box you can find, too, because who can 

resist all those lovely points? It's going to take many, 

many playthroughs of each course to learn the best 

racing line, combining 

both speed and point 

accumulation, and the fun 

of discovery keeps each 

round exciting. While 

Beetle Adventure Racing's 

visuals have gone the way 

of all N64 titles, its ability 

to be pure damn fun 

hasn't faded a bit. 




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^bl,sher:SNKPlaymore 
Developer: SNKPlaymore 

Release Date: 12/11/2007 

Genre: Fighting 

Category: Pixelicious 

# of Players: 1-2 



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mun^u ...v luJt llu , « u ,,u« ,,,, u.,. v.,. ^,,^ ,. JP v. i.ghtinggames, but in an effort to continue 
tapping the same market without the same licenses, both Capcom and SNK decided to create mashup 
fighters exclusively featuring characters from their own franchises. It was at this point that their ideas 
vastly diverged; Capcom's own effort in Capcom Fighting Evolution only managed to evolve into ass, 
while Neo Geo Battle Coliseum was, its critics be damned, a true attempt at something worthwhile. 

While Fighting Evolution decided to rehash the same damn sprites all over again, the roster is where 
NOBC shines. Following the trend of pulling together strange and unique characters established in SvC 
Chaos, NGBC pulls from SNK's favorites to the obscure, and when they didn't already exist in fighting 
form - this is a model concept here, Capcom - they created new sprites from scratch. Thrill, to shock 
and amazement! If you thought Mars People was cool in SvC Chaos, be amazed as Marco drops a Metal 
Slug right on your facel It's always good to see the Last Blade characters getting some screen time (a 
new LB game, plz SNK?), but pulling in characters like Kisarah Westfield) and Cyber Woo is a welcome 
surprise. Asura and Shiki? It's good to see you in 2D, too. The only way this game could 've been better 
is if they would 've included Load Ran and Realy Till from Twinkle Star Sprites. 

System wise NGBC is a tag fighter, and that portion - the tagging and the fighting - are exactly what 
you would expect out of modern SNK. The engine is pretty much a progression of the ones used in SvC 
and KOF2k3, and the semantics of how the super bar works or what kind of slam and jam tag antics you 
can pull off are really just spice. The gameplay is about as solid as a mashup fighter can be; it works 
without being too unbalanced or bent-overly broken. 



While the game mechanics remain tried and true, the curveball with NGBC is in the arcade mode's 
match mechanics. You are essentially thrown into a survival match, given three hundred seconds to 
compete against as many fighting pairs as possible, and when that time limit is up you fight whatever 
final boss you qualify for. The better you do, the crazier the boss you fight, the better the ending crawl. 
The survival battles are divided into three rounds, against three teams of two, but unlike most other tag 
fighters you only need to slay one of the two team members of said team to progress to the next team. 
Confused yet? You are given opportunities to regain time and energy to prolong the battle between 
every group of three teams - much like the continue service in other SNK fighters - and if you play your 
cards right you can make that three hundred seconds last a long time. 

As you can imagine, this system makes NGBC fast and frentic- Mowing through characters quickly and 
efficiently is the name of the game, conserving your health and using as many D-Assaults (as I said, the 
"spice") and as few bonus services as possible being the key to triggering the different final bosses. If 
you do well enough your opponent will be Goodman, though any of the bosses in this game kick puppies 
and eat babies, so don't think it's going to be easy any way you slice it. 

You also get all the other normal fightery stuff here; survival, practice, versus, blah blah blah, it's all 
pretty much as you'd imagine it. The load-time issues and other shullbit from the Japanese version 
have been fixed in the US rev, making it technically superior in all but one respect. Unfortunately, they 
accidentally left out the 480p progressive scan option since the code is based on the PAL version, but 
honestly, the game is well worth its small price even with this minor oversight. 

Funnily enough, it feels like this game was destined for this section. You see, the clandestine "Warez 
Conglomerate" - an obvious jab at the rampant Neo Geo piracy which necessitated the move to the 
Atomiswave hardware at the time of development - is the impetus for the tournament featured in 
NGBC's duct-taped together, threadbare plot. You get what you pay for in NGBC- a solid fighting game, 
even if the match mechanic 
anal, and for $10 how anal can you possiDiy Der 



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Since its creation in 1989, the Fire Pro Wrestling 
series has been about having dream matches that 
would never happen in real life. While the earliest 
installments lacked either the roster or deep 
gameplay to do justice to the concept, the 16- 
bit and beyond entries have done just that, and 
FPR, the newest entry, does the best job yet at 
allowing players to not only have as many dream 
matches as they want (or simply recreate classic 
ones), but also create classic titles, federations, 
factions, rinss, and even referees. 



£ 



Publisher: Agetec 
Developer: Spike 
Release Date: 11/13/2007 
Genre: Wrestling/MMA 

Category: Dream Match Heaven 
# of Players: 1-8 



lW 



So if you've ever wanted to see Japanese icons 

like Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa do 

battle with American stars like Kurt Angle and 

Hulk Hogan, you can. The depth of the gameplay means that you can accurately recreate classic, 

simplistic matches like Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant from WrestleMania III or 

the Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco cage match from Madison Square Garden. ,**"* 

More complex classics that blend technical wrestling together with high flying 
action, like Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage from WrestleMania III, or more 
modern-day ones, like Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania 21 or 
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels from Unbreakable '05 can also l'*' 
be replicated with ease. **^*^ 

Thanks to the inclusion of weapons (like barb wire bats, light tubes, chairs, 
broken tables, Singapore canes, and scythes), exploding barb wire-rope time 
bomb matches, and a classic chain-link steel cage, fans of bloodbaths and 
explosion-filled spectacles can have matches so violent, they would make 
hardcore icons like the Sheik, Mick Foley, Terry Funk, Bruiser Brody, and Abdullah 
the Butcher cringe. 

: "*jS 

Beyond just replicating classic pro wrestling matches, you can also have 
legendary MMA battles, as Spike included a decagonal cage for cage-fighting \ 
classics, while classic K1 and PRIDE fights can take place in the ring. Much like • 
the default roster of wrestlers, the MMA roster in FPR is diverse and inspired by • 
legendary fighters like Mirko Cro Cop, Don Frye, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, 
and Fedor Emelianenko. 

If a wrestler/fighter you like isn't in the game, you can simply make them with the 
character creation tool. Its accuracy is sometimes scary, as some creations (like 
Christian Cage and Kurt Angle) can come out so well that you'd expect them to be m 
intended for the game. Thanks to the federation creation tool, you can make a TNA j ! 
Wrestling roster full of people already in the game (like Sting, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, 
and Petey Williams) along with these creations and have your own, customized TNA 
roster in the game. 

FPWR is a dream come true for wrestling fans longing to have video game matches 

involving companies that never got their own game (like Mid-South or World Class), • 

as the character creation tool allows you to make excellent Bill Watts, Junkyard • 

Dog, Jim Duggan, Butch Reed, Mr. Wrestling II, Magnum TA, Terry Taylor, Ted DiBiase, i 

Bob Roop, and Buck Robley creations to go alongside the default roster's "Dr. Death" t 

Steve Williams and have an accurate Mid-South group. ; 

World Class fans will be delighted to see Terry Gordy and Bruiser Brody already in ^ , ^ v w 
the game, while others, like the Von Erichs, the other Freebirds, Chris Adams, and I "*'.. 
"Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin can easily be made. The ring creation tool allows you to 
make fairly accurate rings as well, adding a layer of authenticity when recreating % ## 
the classic Von Erich vs. Freebirds wars. 

With its $1 5 price tag, a default roster of 320 characters, 500 slots for player-created 
ones, the ability to create classics federations and factions, and an extensive mode 
lineup that allows for just about any kind of match you could possibly want or 
imagine, Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is a must-have for anyone interested in either a 
deep pro wrestling or satisfying mixed martial arts gaming experience. • 



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Garfield 



PUSH 3-fAltt 



FIELD ChaKacteKS : © 
ted Feature S?ndicat 

QDUCED by TOWfl CHIKI. i 



Precautions 



ello, and congratulations 
on your purchase of A 
Week of Garfield: Garfield, 
licensed exclusively for 
use in Japan for the 
Nintendo Family Computer 
console. We appreciate 
your support, even though 
you may not have any idea 
of who Garfield is, and 
probably thought that you 
were buying a game about 
Doraemon's orange brother 
or something. In any case, 
thank you, and as you say 
in Japan, orrikato! 



- Please treat your A Week of Garfield: Garfield cartridge with care. 

- Do not melt it, submerge it in liquid, or crush it into powder and rub 
it in your eyes. 

- Garfield is made of sophisticated parts and electronics to simulate 
"cattitude," so please take 15-minute breaks after every hour of 
gameplay. 



Story 

Oh no! Garfield has had enough of that lovable Odie's antics and 
wants to murder him! Luckily, Odie detects Garfield's concealed 
malice and flees in terror. 

Garfield narrows his eyes, swearing that Odie will not live to see next 
Monday. Can you guide Garfield through a week-long sleepless journey 
to sate his thirst for blood? 



WHERE ARE VOU 
GOING ODIE? 



Getting Started 

o begin the game, insert the A Week of Garfield: Garfield cartridge 
nto your Famicom and turn on the power. You should see the title 
creen. If you don't see the title screen, remove the cartridge 
mmediately and trade it in at your local GameStop for up to five 
ercent of what you originally paid in non-transferable store credit. 

^t the title screen, press the Start button. You're now playing A Week 
f Garfield: Garfieldl Unfortunately, we didn't have enough cartridge 
pace for a tutorial, so you'll probably never figure out that you can 

move Garfield with the D-pad and make him jump with the A Button. 

He apologize, and we plan to correct this oversight in our next 
elease with a ten-minute-long unskippable tutorial cinema voiced by 
hrill British children. 




1) This is Garfield. He hates 
Mondays. 

2) This is the timer, which 
displays your time and time 
limit as two separate numbers 
to help your child with his or 
her developing math skills. 

It also tells you what day it 
is. (Shown: MON, for Monday. 
Garfield hates Mondays.) 

3) Items, [see: THE ITEMS, page 4] 

4) Things that will kill you. 



The Faces of Garftettt 










■pi i 




Press Up to make 

Garfield do this. 

It doesn't do 

anything. 



Press Down to make 
Garfield transform 
into a tiny mutant 
cat with five legs. 



Press A to make 
Garfield WHOA, 
what the hell? 



The Items 




Stupid Dog Bone - Flies straight forward. Never hits anything. 




GMtchy Exploding Pie - Explodes in a million different 
directions. Never hits anything. 

I Don't Know - Do you know what this is? It's a spread 
gun! Duh! 



Moldy Lasagna - Makes Garfield invincible for two and a 
half seconds. Garfield likes lasagna. 

Super Speed Boots - Garfield is fat (which is funny), so 
he can't run very far before he gets tired. 



□a 

n 
a 



Power Coffee, Health Milk - Delays the inevitable. 



Fish Corpse - Only Garfield can hear its cries of pain. This 



is his blessing, and his curse. 






CT^I dJiWIh^JT ^mr TT-TTTgTTTT^ CTr 



Key - One's hidden in every level. How do you find 
them? Buy our A Week of Garfield: Garfield official 
strategy guide! Only $9.99! Features tips like "Level 4 
is hard!" and "Don't get fooled by 'Won't Get Fooled 
Again' on Expert!" 



VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 FERVOROUS CLUSTERSNOGGIN' 




MONDAY: Garfield hates 

Mondays. 

JON HINT: "WHAT HAPPENED?" 

TUESDAY: Travel through the 
park. Watch out for spiders! 
JON HINT: "DID YOU FIND ODIE?" 



WEDNESDAY: Garfield goes to 
church, but finds no salvation. 
JON HINT: "HUNT FOR ODIE 
DOWNTOWN." 

THURSDAY: Downtown is full of 
stores advertising FOODS, but 
don't get distracted! 
JON HINT: "WHAT CAN I DO 
FOR YOU?" 



FRIDAY: The forest! Beware: 
Naughty Folks breathe fire here. 
JON HINT: "MAY I HELP YOU?" 

SATURDAY: Back to town. Which 
is also a forest now! 
JON HINT: "STILL LOOKING 
FOR ODIE?" 


















SUNDAY: Will Garfield finally get 
his revenge? Only if you abuse 
emulator savestates! 
JON HINT: "LET'S CHALLENGE." 

















The Ending 




Thank you for your playing! 
Presented by Mars Corp 
Copyright 1989 The Joke is That 
He's Fat Inc. 



THE DARK SIDE OF 




Developer: D Entertainment * Platform: XBox 36D 
Genre: Shooter * Category: Musical! * # of Players: 1 
Price: BDD points ($1D) * Get it at: Xbox Live Rrcade 

Just in case you don't know what Rez is, here's the 
deal. Enemies fly at you in a wireframe rendition of 
cyberspace. Lock onto them and fire, and music happens. 
It's great music, too, all of the techno persuasion. Shoot 
to the beat, or feel free to make your own; in the end, 
the result is a fun game that always sounds great, and 
contains killer atmosphere to boot. The game's made 
an appearance on the Dreamcast and PS2 thus far, 
but this is easily the definitive version of the greatest 
rhythm-shooter ever made (sure, it's by default, but 
that doesn't take away from its awesomeness). 

flezallowsyouto 
play the original 
game, or a 
beefed-up mode 
with a higher 
resolution, and 



Developer: HBR Barnes 

Platform: PC * Genre: Rrena Shooter 

Category: Super-Fast 

« of Players: 1 * Price: Free 

Bet it at: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~csBK-cyu/ 

xna/mm/index_e.html 

A new game from the prolific Kenta 
Cho is always cause for celebration, 
and Mazer Mayhem is no exception. 



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audio/visual effects that you can apply yourself (reverb, 
bloom, glare, tiling, sepia tones, etc.), to your liking. 
However, by far the game's coolest feature is the ability 
to use any or all extra Xbox 360 controllers lying around 
your house as makeshift Trance Vibrator accessories. 
If you don't know what a Trance is... well, let Google 
educate you on that one. Just trust me when I say it's 
a really good thing. 

The best part is, none of these features take away from 
the proven gameplay in any way. They're all bonus 
icing on an already-sweet cake. Go ahead and spend 
the points on this, regardless of if you have an older 
version, or even if you somehow haven't heard of Rez. 
Seriously, you'll love it anyway. 




After a bit of messing around getting 
the XNA environment set up, Mazer 
Mayhem turns into a lightning-fast 
shooter. A little tank in an arena 
is being attacked by orange balls 
throwing out heavy firepower, 
and when destroyed the balls 
leave behind a small pile of green 
particles. Collect a hundred greens 
and it's overdrive time, at which 
point Mazer Mayhem becomes a 
nearly psychotic rush to collect as 
much green as possible. The particle 
tally turns into a bonus multiplier 
while in overdrive, but it depletes 
fast, so it becomes a race to kill and 
collect as much as possible to max 
out the score. It's a simple setup, 
but the smooth gameplay makes 
for an addictive little gem that's 
perfect for a short, satisfying round 
of adrenaline-fueled blasting. 



Developer: Chair Entertainment 

Platform: XBox 36D * Benre: Twin-5tiCK Shooter 

Category: Moist * # of Players: 1-16 * Price: Free 

Bet it at: Xbox Live Rrcade 

Microsoft chose to give everyone a 
free XBLA game to make up for the 
horrendous service of Xbox Live during 
the 2007 Christmas season, and it 
may be the worst apology I've ever 
received. Undertow is an obnoxious, 
aggravating mess that, while trying 
something clever by combining a 2D 
twin-stick arena shooter with team- 
based gameplay, 




Developer: Q-Bames Ltd. * Platform: P53 

Benre: Puzzle * Category: Strategy 

# of Players: 1-E * Price: $7.33 

Bet it at: PlayStation NetworK 

It's about time someone turned 
Tower Defense into a full-sized 
game. Pixel junk Monsters gives 
a few tweaks to the popular 
formula of setting up a gauntlet of 
firepower strong enough to defeat 
the monstrous horde. A parade of 
creatures travels down a wooded 
path towards a hut where the cute 
and delicious little forest people 
live, and their protector runs 
around transforming trees into the 
many towers 
that rain death 
from above. 




fails to be any fun whatsoever. It 
doesn't matter which of the four player 
types you choose; the enemy will simply 
overwhelm you with firepower no 
matter how careful you are, and your 
teammates are no help at all. Gameplay 
devolves into scouting for one of the 
map's multiple bases, shooting a few 
of its defenders, dying, and endlessly 
respawning to try again until you either 
run out of points or bases under your 
control. The multiplayer version is a 
little better because you can strategize 
with your team, but single player just 
plain sucks. Thanks, MS; it's the thought 
that counts. 



Towers range from slow and strong 
cannons, to faster arrows, to a 
variety of powerful magic effects. 
As they kill things the towers go 
up in level, or you can use a rare 
blue gem for an instant upgrade. 
Those gems might be better saved 
to research stronger towers though, 
and good magic doesn't come cheap. 
Pixeljunk Monsters is a constant 
struggle to properly allocate gold, 
gems, firepower, and time as the 
horde advances single file, with 
each level being more addictive 
than the last. 




SCORE H of S 




Those proud researchers of the 
Japanese whaling industry finally 
get a game acknowledging all the 
trials they endure in Harpooned, 
a vertical shooter illustrating the 
eternal struggle of wrestling science 
from nature by the time-honored 
means of examining mountains 
of slaughtered animals corpses. A 
fishing boat travels up the screen 
armed with explosive-tipped 
harpoons, harvesting whale meat for 
research and then, to ensure nothing 
gets wasted, converting it into cat 
food and delicious whale burgers. 
Activists and news choppers try to 
interfere, and shooting or ramming 
them cuts down on what little profit 
science brings in, but carefully 
harvesting a species chain and 
keeping the meat combo counter 
alive generates huge cash bonuses. 
While Harpooned's gameplay is only 
decent at best, it gets its message 
across with a brutally funny and 
disconcerting sense of humor that 
justifies the download. 



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ARCHAie^SE^CEDXbEAT 



Archaic Sealed Heat is the first DS game to come from F/na/ Fantasy father Hironobu SakagucrTPk 
Mistwalker. It is also the first to use the new 2Gb DS cart. The size of the cart really isn't that 
important, nor is it really that impressive. It's only about one-third the size of an ordinary 
compact disc. However, ASH is a strategy RPG created by the same man who made Final Fantasy 
games famous. What could possibly go wrong? 

The most promising aspect of ASH is its story. Those of you who've played FF games before the 
PSX era will get a sense of nostalgia as the story progresses. Even if you don't understand Japanese 
enough to know what's going on, the feel and atmosphere is much like FF2. It's dark, oppressive, and 
a lot of characters die. This is a game that demands localization, or some crazy fan to at least publish 
a translated text of the script, because the story is everything an old FF fan could want. 

There is voice acting in ASH, though it is oddly limited. Only the introduction is fully voice acted; 
afterwards, it's just popular anime catchwords at random intervals. In a welcome change, the 
protagonist is female. Unfortunately, she's a princess wearing half a bridal gown, is armed with a 
rifle, and speaks in a squealing voice. She's hopelessly immature from start to finish. Thankfully, 
the supporting cast is full of fantastic characters such as Dan and Maritie, who make ignoring 
that insufferable princess so much easier. In any case, the voice acting is completely unnecessary 
because there's barely any of it. 




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There is no doubt where nearly all the space in the cart for ASH went, however, 
because the most impressive thing is its graphics. The reason why ASH needed to 
be on the largest DS cart is that every single battle is in FMV. To be more precise, 
the battle scenes are all fully FMV, while the 3D maps you move around on are 
comparatively pathetic. The DS can do 3D really well, but the maps look like a 
prototype Saturn game, and the sprites are around NES quality. It's quite jarring to 
command and watch battles play out in full FMV when the other half of the game 
makes your eyes bleed. 

Speaking of battles, Mistwalker has come up with an interesting and original 
system. You create your characters from their ashes, and then you organize them 
into groups of three. The main characters are locked in as leaders of these groups. 
You can control each of these characters individually, but it takes away action 
points from that character's group. The turns cycle through groups based on their 
given number, and you're free to end the group's turn at any time. What makes 
this interesting is that when you initiate an attack against an enemy group, the 
relative distance between each character and enemy determines how effective 
their attacks will be. If an enemy is close, then the attack will hit with full force, 
but it may fail or be much weaker if the distance is too great. Therefore, the 
positions of all your characters relative to each other and the enemy on a map are 
a crucial aspect to winning a battle. 



Publisher: Nintendo 

Developer: Mistwalker/Racjin 
Release Date: 10/04/2007 



Genre(s): RPG 

Category: Strategy 
# of Players: 1 



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There are a few unfortunate side effects that govern the way the system works. Due 
the fact that once you initiate an attack there's no turn limit inside the battle, you v 
feel compelled to win it. That compulsion means that once you've decided to attc 
an enemy group, you can be sure that the opponents are going to be defeated, par 
because you can see their weak points, but mostly because levels in this game are 
more important to character strength than equipment is. That's doubly disappointing, 
since the level cap is 30 and you'll normally reach it by the end of the game. Another 
annoying feature is that boss battles will always be anti-climatic because you can 
only fight the boss with one group at a time like any other enemy. Add in the inherent 
compulsion to avoid losing a fight, and the other groups just end up standing around 
doing nothing. It's absurd deploying four groups for the last battle, when you're only 
allowed to fight with one of them at a time. 




SI '.*•.*■ SE2H 



~XI 



ASH falls apart further under its own perceived grandeur, as there are a number of annoying things about it. For starters, 
it's menu driven, yet you cannot use the face buttons-it's stylus-only-while the shoulder buttons manipulate the camera in 
a limited fashion. Secondly, there are only seven creatable classes-a surprisingly small number. Never mind that you'll only 
have room to create ten characters. You only get five group leaders with two free character spaces each. For more than half 
the game however, you're stuck with three group leaders, and during that time you'll be stuck in a single location. That's no 
joke; the game has 32 chapters in it with each chapter having anywhere from one to three maps to fight on and half of them 
have the same background palette, the same music, with the same enemies. The game becomes a chore to play since the 
battles will abuse a reinforcements gimmick to an absurd degree. You can rest assured that when you start a map you are 
only seeing less than half of all enemies that you will have to defeat. The rest will appear on the map when certain enemy 
groups are defeated or when a character steps past a certain point on the map. There's not even a single side-quest in the 
game to break up the monotony. You're on rails to the very end, with limited opportunities to play on a map again. Though 
why would you play a map again after slogging through reinforcements ad nauseum? 

Bizarrely, ASH has a New Game+ feature. Unfortunately, this isn't a game you'd want to play through a second time. The only 
thing of importance that gets carried over is all the money you earned previously. ASH is very pretty (ignoring the maps) and 
has an intriguing story with a great supporting cast, but the monotony of the battles just ruins an otherwise inspired game. 



Worth Importing! 



ASH can be found cheaply, because it didn't sell well. If you're 
only looking for a good story in a Japanese game, then ASH fits 
the bill nicely. Do be warned that there are some dreadfully 
boring bits called playing. 



Score: 3 of 5 






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The Burnout series has come a long way from its humble beginnings. While 
Acclaim introduced the world to this over-the-top racer, EA has turned it into 
one of the leading franchises of the decade. And while Burnout Revenge was, 
and still is, a great game, the developers have taken Burnout Paradise to new 
heights. Not only does it sport a new gaming engine under the hood (resulting 
in gorgeous visuals and more detailed damage models), but it also lets players 
tear up the streets of Paradise City while playing online. 

Rather than forcing fanatical drivers to quit out of the single player mode to 

join online matches, they can simply press a few buttons and immediately 

jump to Freeburn Online. This open-world mode lets up to seven lead-foot 

drivers form ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

a virtual 

'posse' and 

drive around 

town causing 

intense 

mayhem and 

destruction. 

In addition, 

the host 

can initiate 

competitive 

races and 

cooperative 

challenges whenever they choose. It's even possible for the host to create 

their own race, which offers obvious advantages. Just when you think you 

have Paradise City's roadways memorized, someone creates their own race 

and you have to figure out a new route at 140 MPH. 

I find the most fun comes from driving around town with my crew looking 
for super jumps and causing as much damage as possible. We also like to 
create new games, like BALLZ (a variation of HORSE) and Crumple (see 
who can damage their car the most in one 
crash). Since Burnout 






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1777717/ / 



Paradise doesn't have a crash mode, we create our own. Have you ever seen 
seven vehicles speeding towards the same intersection from four different 
directions? Oh the carnage, /drool. If everyone activates Showtime, which 
lets players string crashes together similar to the old-school crash mode, the 
metallic massacre is practically never-ending. 

I have always considered myself to be the long-lost Duke boy, and while my... 
err... natural padding prevents me from sliding on the hood of cars in real 
life, catching air in Paradise City is especially fun for me. Needless to say, I 
can spend hours just trying to pull off cool stunts and then show them off to 
my online crew. One of my favorites is a basic 1 80, where you harshly turn 
the steering wheel in one direction while hitting the handbrake at the top of 
a jump, rotate 180 degrees in the air, land backwards, and quickly hit reverse 
for a smooth getaway. Performing a full 360 is nearly impossible, but feel free 




to hit me up and show me how it's done. Another exciting challenge is trying 
to slam into each other in midair from two different jumps. 

As if that isn't enough, taking out other players online initiates a Mugshot, 
where the Xbox Live camera takes a snapshot of the player's reaction in 
real life and displays it onscreen. Sure, this feature has the potential for 
serious exploitation, so be forewarned, any naked -crotch shots will garner an 
immediate ban from my friend's list (unless you happen to be the rarely-seen 
but highly sought-after hot girl gamer). 

In the past, the Burnout series was limited to standard online races, but 
Burnout Paradise opens up the whole city and lets players do what they 
choose. Now that I think about it, it does sound like paradise. 






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Ouft g uides 




DoubleJump 



Disgaea ® A ftemoon 
of Darkness 

The most beloved PS2 SRPG 
is coming to PSP with loads of 
sweet extras including: 

• Special Etna Mode! What 
would happen if Etna 
accidently killed Laharl? 

• New cameos from later games! 

• Ad-hoc multi-player and more! 

Soul Nomad™ 

Would you sell your soul for 
Ultimate Power? (Or would you 
just buy the guide?) 

• Complete Map Data! 

• Complete Character Data! 

• Every Secret revealed! 

• Complete Item Data! 

• Build the strongest rooms! 

Persona™ 3 

Create every Persona, establish 
every Social Link, say the right 
things to the right people, finish 
all of Elizabeth's requests on time, 
find all of the treasure chests on 
every floor of Tartarus, refer to our 
detailed besitary, and more. 

Disgaea™ 2: 
Cursed Memories 

640 pages jam-packed with 
extreme detail. If you've ever seen 
our Monster Size™ guides, you 
know they're fat. This one is our 
fattest ever. We went a little nuts. 

Castlevania®: Dawn 
of Sorrow ™ 

Set one year after the events 
of 2003's Castlevania®: Aria of 
Sorrow™, this sequel follows the 
protagonist Soma Cruz into a new 
castle, and a new adventure. 

Disgaea: Hour of 
Darkness 

Secrets, techniques for capturing 
monsters, all the item ranks, job 
evolutions, class prerequisites and 
much, much more. 



w A w A w. DoubleLumqGuides.com. 

SMT, Shin Megami Tensei and Persona are trademarks or registered trademarks of Atlus USA. 
Disgaea and Soul Nomad ©NIPPON I CHI SOFTWARE INC. ©NIS America, Inc. Castlevania: 
Dawn of Sorrow © 1986-2005 KONAMI. "KONAMI" and "CASTLEVANIA" are registered 
trademarks of KONAMI CORPORATION. "CASTLEVANIA Dawn of Sorrow" is a trademark of 
KONAMI CORPORATION. DoubleJump and Monster Size are trademarks or registered trademarks 
of DoubleJ ump Publishing, Inc. 






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There is no better place to play a racer than in the arcade. 
Ever since they began combining mounted steering wheels with 
sitdown cabinets nothing a console could do would match the 
arcade racing experience. As such we've had racers in arcades 
f l since the 70's and that continues until today with one developer 
&Mm+—' capitalizing on the popular phenomona of NASCAR racing and 

r ^T^ bringing that experience to the arcade. 

**^vr EA NASCAR Racing 

attempts to recreate 

the NASCAR racing 

experience as best as it 
can, which includes cars 
and drivers such as Dale Earnhardt 
Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and 9 
other drivers for up to 12 selectable 
drivers total and 6 different tracks 
based on real locations such as 
Daytona, Talladega and Indianapolis 
speedways. When you begin the 
race, you always begin in last place 

(which puts you in about 31st place) and you need to do everything you can 

to reach first place by the end of the set laps (the cabinet I played at had it 

set to five laps). The game features difficulty that adjusts itself depending on 

how well (or badly) you are playing, much like GVR's America's Army. You gain 

speed by drafting (following a car directly in front of you) and after drafting 

; long enough you get a speed boost which helps you pass the others even 

further. To compliment the racing, they included some nice alternative rock 

^ tracks to which you can adjust the volume by pressing a button on the front 

panel. The player can also race with either an automatic shifter or manual. 

After completing a race one can enter their initials into the game to keep track 

of their high score on that track they just raced on. 

Graphically, NASCAR is quite nice and uses good textures with a lot of detail on 
each car in attempt to make each car look as authentic as possible. There ahn *re> 
some nice effects such as reflections off the cars, motion blur, particle e 
(for when you slam into another car or wall), and a solid frame rate. The only 
thing it lacks is anti-aliasing so there are a number of jaggies.The cabinet uses 
a nice widescreen LCD monitor, sizes vary depending on the type of cabinet 
(standard uses a 32", deluxe = 42" and motion deluxe = 57"). Each cabinet looks 
quite nice, especially the deluxe version which includes a rollcage. 

While the game is a lot of fun in singleplayer, the game really shines in its 
multiplayer mode. The game can have up to ten cabinets linked together , 
and thanks to a pretty affordable price it should be easy to find this 
game in any arcade with multiple units available to play. 

NASCAR is a great game that should find itself a place in many 

K cades. It probably helps that one of the people 
ivolved in the games development was also 
esponsible for another excellent arcade 
"acer, San Francisco Rush 



66 ARCADE EA NASCAR RACING 






049. Between great 

[ameplay, nice graphics, 

excellent music and 

solid control NASCAR is 




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There's ^fcrotej. Then there's Army Strong 
The strength that comes fronrtxpert training in one of over 
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F^lnd out how to get it at goarmy.com/strong. 



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